How to install a toilet bowl

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You need to install a new toilet bowl. Maybe your old one is cracked at the base. Maybe you want to conserve water with a low-flow model. Maybe you are moving away from your avocado green bathroom decor. It doesn’t matter, it’s not all that difficult to install a toilet bowl.


How to install a toilet bowl

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You need to install a new toilet bowl. Maybe your old one is cracked at the base. Maybe you want to conserve water with a low-flow model. Maybe you are moving away from your avocado green bathroom decor. It doesn’t matter, it’s not all that difficult to install a toilet bowl.


Select the toilet bowl you want. Some models come in one piece, some are a two-piece combination of bowl and tank. Read all the installation instructions, even if you know what you’re doing. The instructions will provide a list of things you’ll need to do the job right, including tools and bowl wax.


Shut off the water to the toilet before you begin. You probably will find the shut-off valve on the wall behind the bowl. If you prefer, you can shut off water to the entire house at the curb.


Flush the toilet a couple of times to drain the water from the tank and the bowl. Take the lid off the tank and set it aside, out of the way. Toilets are both heavy and fragile, so it’s best to remove the old one in pieces. To take the tank off the bowl, loosen and remove the bolts beneath the tank. Set the tank aside.


Remove the bolt caps from the base of the toilet bowl and take out the bolts that anchor the bowl to the floor. Wiggle the bowl to break it free from the ring of bowl wax. Immediately haul the old bowl outdoors or set it on something (an old blanket, a large piece of cardboard) to keep the bowl wax off your floors.


Clean the bowl wax off the mounting flange (that round metal plate) with a putty knife; you need to provide a clean, level surface to mount your new bowl. Gently lay your new toilet bowl on its side on a blanket; install new bowl wax (try to use warm wax–it’s easier to work with). Make sure your new bolts, along with washers and nuts, are installed in the flange parallel to the back wall.


Position your new toilet bowl over the bolts and flange and gently press down against the bowl wax. Use a rocking motion to seat the bowl completely. Tighten the nuts on the bolts, switching from side to side to get an even seal. Use silicon seal to seal the bottom of the bowl to the floor.


Install the tank, following manufacturer’s instructions. Turn the water on for a test flush.


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